Run Into Nature’s Dawn, Iceland
SW Iceland, 2014-2018

With Run Into Nature’s Dawn, I explore the contradictions of what is promoted to millions of tourists each year: untouched Icelandic nature. However, “Nature” one gains access to in Iceland isn’t quite the proverbial wilderness, devoid of human installations and interventions.

It is, instead, a heavily mediated experience and, in fact, the final product of a long sequence of transformations starting from pictures laid out in impeccable brochures, jet fuel, cheap snacks or scheduled round tours such as the “Golden Circle.”

Importantly, according to the Icelandic Tourist Board, tourism in Iceland grew quite exponentially from 2010 to 2019 and reached an all-time high that same year, surpassing more traditional industries such as fishing in terms of revenues. In other words, the pressure on “nature” had never been so intense in Iceland.

With all that in mind, I focused on the Reykjanes peninsula where two thirds of the Icelandic population live and where most of the modern infrastructure is laid out. There, the price of “nature tourism” on the barren lava terrain became all the more tangible.

I’ve been there and done that too.